Eligible residents in Chelsea and Quincy -- two of Massachusetts cities hit hardest by the pandemic -- can get the coronavirus vaccine right in their communities starting Friday as part of a new delivery program.
The Last Mile Vaccine Delivery service, which aims to vaccinate Massachusetts’ most vulnerable residents, begins operating Friday with vaccinations at the Chelsea Housing Authority (14 Bloomingdale Street) at 8 a.m. and Granite Place (125 Granite Street) in Quincy at 9 a.m.
Woburn-Based Mascon Medical partnered with the Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts and Brewster Ambulance Service to launch the program, which attempts to accelerate vaccine distribution by delivering it to people who are challenged by mobility and increased health risk.
Mascon Medical is a subsidiary of Mascon, Inc., a minority-owned manufacturing and supply chain company, which has been delivering personal protective equipment to communities in need all year long.
“Our goal is to bring the vaccine to residents’ zip code; where they live,” Mascon, Inc. President John Chen said. “The program is hyper focused exclusively on local communities most affected by the pandemic and those residents who have transportation issues.”
The effort comes amid continued scrutiny over the state's COVID-19 vaccine rollout and mounting concerns over equitable access.
A group of lawmakers filed legislation Thursday to increase vaccine delivery in communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic and require that Gov. Charlie Baker appoint a director of COVID-19 vaccination equity and outreach, among other measures.
Black people account for 2.6% of those who have received at least one vaccine dose in Massachusetts, while Latinx residents accounted for 3.3%, according to the latest weekly report from DPH. Massachusetts ranks in the bottom half of the nation in per-capita vaccinations, according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Over 654,000 residents have been vaccinated, Baker said Wednesday, and about 120,000 new appointments were expected to be made available this week. Approximately 55,000 new appointments went live on Thursday at the state's mass vaccination sites alone.
There are currently five mass vaccination sites around the state; two in Boston at Fenway Park and the Reggie Lewis Center in Roxbury, and three others at Gillette stadium, the Double Tree in Danvers and the Eastfield Mall in Springfield. A sixth mass vaccination site will open at Worcester State University on Feb. 16, officials announced Thursday.
Baker's administration has promised at least seven mass vaccination sites will be established in the state. There are 125 operating vaccination sites in Massachusetts, with another 40 expected to be online by the the middle of the month. To find a site near you, go to mass.gov/covidvaccine.
More COVID Vaccine Coverage in Mass.
Appointments opened up for those over 75 last week, but the efforts were hampered by numerous accounts of older residents who could not navigate the state's website or waited hours only to find that all slots were already full.